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How to get an architect

(11 Posts)
papalazaru Sun 24-Mar-13 19:16:10

We're planning a big renovation when we move back into our house n a couple of months so I would like to employ and architect for ideas and plans/permissions etc.
How do people normally do this? I was thinking of inviting a couple round to walk through what we wanted and then see how their ideas would gel with ours. Is that the right way? Sorry to be so clueless but out of the country right now so it's hard to chat it over with friends etc.

domesticslattern Sun 24-Mar-13 21:45:30

My experience is that they will do an initial consultation for free, yes. Personal recommendations, people who have worked for friends or friends of friends are ideal. Ask around a bit if you can.

wonkylegs Sun 24-Mar-13 22:01:53

Check out the RIBA directory for ones in your area who do domestic work.

You need to find somebody who is the right fit for you. Nearly all of us will have an initial chat with you for free.
There is a good guide to using an architect for your home here:

contortionist Sun 24-Mar-13 22:07:09

You could do this:

papalazaru Sun 24-Mar-13 22:21:55

Thanks all.

Wonky - that's a useful link. I have had a look online through the planning applications submitted on our street as we live in a conservation area and seen two that I like the look of. I wonder if it'd be very cheeky to knock on their doors when I get back and ask them how the process went.... [hmmm]?

Contortionist - I have signed up for the scheme but not heard back yet. S'pose it takes a while....

papalazaru Sun 24-Mar-13 22:22:59

[hmmm] = hmm
too many mmms grin

wonkylegs Mon 25-Mar-13 09:48:49

Definitely not cheeky to go and ask.
Personal recommendations are always a good thing and experience with your local conservation officer really helps with the process.

upinthehills Mon 25-Mar-13 09:54:51

I had 5 round before we found someone we liked. All should visit for free and send to a fee schedule based on the RIBA stages - feasibility, planning, warrant etc. They should break it down for each stage and most will only commit you initially to the feasibility stage so you can walk away easily if your want to.

Expect to pay a up sum or a % of the estimated cost -6%-9% seems the norm where I am.

architectming Mon 25-Mar-13 13:00:56

You can also check out,

similar to Architect in The House but they want to have local events near where you live.

If you live in a conversation area, it is worth having a local architect who has a good relationship with the conversation officer or one with experience who dealt with similar projects elsewhere.

I think the most important thing for you is whether you are comfortable with working with your architect. Potentially you are going to spend a lot of time together, a good rapport is really important.

Good Luck!

Pendeen Mon 25-Mar-13 16:31:29

I always like to have an initial and informal chat with any potential client so I allow about a 'free' hour or so (provided they are not too far away) to explore their needs and aspirations (and funds), have a look round the property, usually sketch some initial ideas and guzzle their wine or coffee

papalazaru Tue 26-Mar-13 16:55:18

Thanks all. I'll be knocking on doors in my street when I get back. And Pendeen you sound like my kind of architect wink

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